President Joe Biden on Monday appeared to forget the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, referring to him at a White House event as “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”
The president was announcing the nomination of two female generals to lead U.S. military combatant commands.
“And I want to thank the sec—the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my—the guy who runs that outfit over there,” Biden said of the head of the Pentagon.
“I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we just talked about. And for recommending these two women for promotion,” the president added.
Previously during the event, Biden had mentioned the head of the Defense Department by his name, “Secretary Austin,” while seemingly reading from a teleprompter.
Biden, the oldest elected president, has previously struggled with the names of his cabinet secretary selections, as The New York Post noted. Back in December, for example, he mispronounced the name of his nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, before correcting himself with a different mispronunciation.
In celebrating International Women’s Day on Monday, Biden nominated Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to lead the U.S. Transportation Command and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson to lead the U.S. Southern Command. Their nominations must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
They would be the second and third women to occupy such high-ranking posts, following retired Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, who led U.S. Northern Command from 2016 to 2018.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.
Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.
“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”
Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”
The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”
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